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The cost of car insurance can take a big chunk from your driving budget, however it doesn't need to be that way. Listed here are 15 tips to help you get your annual premium down.
1. Look around
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reckons you can save as much as a third on your own annual premium, by just shopping around. So don't just automatically accept your renewal quote each year.
2. Limit the amount of people allowed to drive the car
The more people who are covered by a policy, the more it's more likely to cost. Young drivers are particularly expensive to insure, so make sure you remember to take your children off your policy once they manage to get thier own.
3. Request a higher excess
Most insurance policies include an excess charge (the amount you have to pay for towards any repairs which can be claimed for). If you're prepared to boost this, you can get a reduced premium.
4. Don't use your car for work
Insurance policies that cover only "social, domestic and pleasure" are generally cheapest.
5. Agree to a mileage cap
This may earn you a discount mainly because cars which can be on the highway less often are less likely to be involved with an accident. AA Insurance reckons that accepting a 12,000-mile annual cap would earn a 5 to 10 per cent discount. A 5,000-mile cap can earn even more. This is very ideal for households with more than one car.
6. Avoid brokers'commission
Direct Line claims that buying through intermediaries can raise the cost of insurance by up to 30 per cent.
7. Buy through the internet
Many insurance providers offer a computerized 5 per cent discount for online transactions.
8. Consider downsizing
Cars which can be worth less and have smaller engines qualify for lower insurance bands, which means they attract lower premiums.
9. Keep your car garaged
Keeping your car in a storage or on a push as opposed to out on the highway will take between 5 and 10 per cent off your premium.
10. Require an introductory discount
You may be eligible for this, even if there isn't a no claims bonus but have driven an organization car - or someone else's car - with a no claims bonus on its policy. Some insurers just give you a discount because they want your custom. And when you yourself have built up a no claims bonus, say so.
11. Search for ways of protecting your no claims bonus
Some policies allow you to make a state in set circumstances without it affecting your no claims bonus. You'll pay a small premium up front, but it may save a lot of money in the long run.
12. Have a dark box fitted to your car
This is where in actuality the insurer installs a computer device that monitors how the car has been driven to ensure that careful driving may be rewarded. You can also consent to curfews that limit what times of day you can drive. It works especially well for young drivers.
13. Improve your driving skills
A Pass Plus driving test, or similar qualification, can slice the cost of your premium.
14. Don't assume 3rd party cover is cheaper
3rd party insurance may be the legal minimum, covering you against damage caused to other people's property and the cost of any compensation for injuries. However, this isn't always cheaper than fully comprehensive cover, which covers your personal vehicle as well, since the insurer can assume you care less about your car and are therefore more prone to have an accident.
15. Don't pay by direct debit
Spending money on your insurance in monthly instalments - as opposed to in a annual lump sum - makes it seem more manageable. But it's more likely to cost you between 10 and 25 per cent more in the long run.